Know Your Role

By Kate Carroll

Children’s writers are an amazing bunch of people. The people I meet at conferences impress me. Fellow writers in my critique groups inspire me. And yes, “groups” is plural. I personally believe you can’t have enough of them. Today I want to share something I learned from my fellow writers.
One thing that my writing journey teaches me is self-reflection. Exposure to other writers challenges me and allows me to see things in my writing that I didn’t see myself.
To be successful, it’s vital to know who you are as a writer. If any of you watch the reality singing shows, very often, the judges and coaches tell contestants to know who they are as an artist. I think that’s true of writers too. 
Find out where your writing voice lives. Where is it best heard? I love writing picture books, but my publishing credits are with magazine articles. I had never thought of myself as a nonfiction magazine contributor, but my critique group did. To try our hand at nonfiction, our group challenged one another to write in that genre. What I produced for that group meeting became my first publishing credit for Cricket Magazine. What a thrill it was to share my writing with Cricket readers all over the world!

As time goes on, I see the value in knowing that’s where my writing feels comfortable. And that gives me an irresistible urge to keep writing to that strength. That doesn’t mean I give up on the passion I have for writing an amazing picture book, but finding a successful path for sharing my thoughts and words with kids is my dream come true!
Knowing your role and your potential as a writer can be a great launching pad for future success in an unexpected area of children’s publishing.

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